Little John's Farm, Reading, Berkshire

Little John's Farm, Reading, Berkshire

Client: Little John's Farm
Contractor: Ascot Timber Buildings
Type of works: supply and installation of Marley's Farmscape fibre-cement sheeting to a new livery stable.

Marley has supplied Farmscape fibre cement sheeting to a new livery stable in Reading, Berkshire.

The previous stable had burnt down during a ferocious fire, which was fueled by bitumen-based roofing materials used on the original building.

As a result of the fire’s intensity and rate of spread, the owners had specified that the new roof covering should not use bitumen-based materials.

Working to the client’s brief, Ascot Timber Buildings selected Farmscape fibre-cement sheeting from Marley in Sherwood Green because the sheets have a P60 (external SAA) rating to BS476: Part 3 and can be classified Class 0 in accordance with the Building Regulations.

The tests demonstrate that Farmscape, along with all other Marley fibre-cement profiled sheeting ranges, are able to resist external fire exposure. The tests simulate the effect of burning material falling on to a roof from an adjacent building, specifically covering the spread of flame and the degree of penetration.

Along with its fire-performance benefits, Farmscape is widely used on agricultural and equestrian buildings because, whilst watertight, it has an ability to absorb 25% of its dry weight in moisture and dissipate it in more favourable conditions. This significantly reduces the occurrence of condensation and therefore breathing related conditions in livestock, along with protecting machinery and equipment. Fibre-cement also has excellent resistance to corrosion compared to steel sheets, which is again particularly suited for these types of buildings as the breath from livestock is slightly acidic.

As fibre-cement sheets have no metallic content, they are completely inert to this aggressive environment, providing the stable owner with a life expectancy of up to 50 years.

Combined with fibre cement's ability to reduced heat build-up in summer and heat loss in winter, along with reduced reverberation compared to steel sheets, Farmscape will significantly improve the welfare of the horses.

The new stables were supplied and erected by Ascot Timber Buildings, based in Haslemere. The company manufacturers and installs a comprehensive range of timber equestrian buildings as well as garages, gazebos, pool houses and timber home offices.

“Fibre cement is essentially a non-combustible product and was therefore the obvious solution for this project,” said Sallie Parker of Ascot Timber Buildings. "As well as being a safe choice for the stable owners in terms of its Class 0 fire performance, it provided aesthetic benefits helping the building blend with its rural surroundings."

Farmscape is designed to reduce the visual impact of buildings by giving them a more natural look from new. This effect is achieved by applying a surface pigmentation to the top face of the sheet which, unlike a dense layer of gloss paint, allows the distinctive texture of the fibre-cement substrate to show through.

Farmscape from Marley is offered with a factory-applied matt finish in Sherwood (Green), Anthracite (Grey) and Bracken (Brown). All three offer subtle and appealing variations in tone inherent in any natural cementitious products.

For more information on Farmscape sheeting from Marley, call: (01283) 722588, or email:

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